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Unlike generic file sharing services, virtual data rooms provide professional-grade security, control, and functionality to aid in online due diligence, document collaboration and other critical processes. As such, they are a popular tool for businesses in various industries that require highest level of security and efficiency when sharing sensitive documents with third party outside of the firewall.

Based on their field of operation business, companies can benefit from various features offered via the majority of VDR vendors. Life science companies, for instance make use of a VDR to share HIPAA-compliant documentation with investors to present the results of clinical trials, as well as research and development information. Biotech companies also utilize a VDR to control their intellectual property and streamline M&A procedures by ensuring thorough activity monitoring.

A popular feature is the ability for digital rights management to remotely remove access and set expiration dates and even apply watermarks. Some providers also allow users to organize their files into an organized hierarchy similar to the traditional file system to categorize them logically and facilitate easy searching. Other important features include an audit trail which provides information into the way documents were accessed by whom and at what times.

Most VDR vendors provide free trials to allow businesses to test the platform and discover how it functions before signing up for an annual subscription. During this period they can assess the reliability and performance data to determine which providers meet or exceed expectations. Additionally, it’s important to take into consideration the level of support each provider provides for their solution. Because transactions and business processes don’t follow the 9-5 timeframe and therefore, selecting a service with 24/7 support is vital.